The current scarcity of foreign exchange confronting the country is being turned into an advantage through the local production of goods for which hard currencies were hitherto wasted, said Governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN.
Mr. Godwin Emefiele, said this during an assessment tour of the farmlands cultivated under the Anchor Borrowers Programme in Kebbi State at the weekend.
A statement by the Acting Director of Communications, Mr. Isaac Okoroafor, in Abuja, yesterday, quoted the governor as saying rice output from Kebbi State alone had proved critics of the apex bank’s forex policy measures wrong.
Emefiele noted that with the level of success attained with the pilot project in Kebbi State, in addition to what he saw at Sunti Golden Sugar Estate in Niger State just recently, the country could produce enough to feed itself and even export in no distant future.
He noted that with N210,000, each farmer was able to cultivate a hectare of rice farm. He disclosed that a total of 78,581 farmers were mobilized in Kebbi State under the Anchor Borrowers Programme and that the farmers are already looking forward to a total of one million metric tons rice this year.
“With the disbursement of N4.9 billion as loans to the farmers, over 570,000 direct jobs have been created and saved with the multiplier effects.
“70,871 rural farmers now own and operate bank accounts and captured under the Bank Verification Number (BVN) biometric project and timely supply of inputs to 73,001 farmers,” Emefiele said.